Where are you living and working now?
Right on the river in Brooklyn Heights and loving it. I continue to direct food-service operations for the Patina Restaurant Group in The Cellar at Macy's in the center of the Big Apple.
What have you been up to since FNS?
Completed the third leg of four journeys experiencing the cultures of Central and South America. The fourth leg is this spring, and then off to Norway this summer for some Viking food!
What was your favorite thing about being on FNS? And your least favorite?
Being on national TV for starters. Seeing, experiencing and learning the production side of the food TV business. There was no downside.
Do you keep in touch with other finalists?
Yes, JAG and I talk to each other and I pass an occasional love note to others in the group.
What was the funniest/coolest/weirdest (or worst!) incident to happen behind the scenes?
I would say that shooting the summer show in the middle of the winter has its moments. Like the time we went to Fort Dix and we were given foot warmers to keep us warm, combined with long underwear and a T-shirt.
How did being on FNS affect your culinary career?
My kitchen time with the other finalists offered some new and crazy ways to cook. Their collective daring has inspired me to say everything is possible. Just have the chops to do it!
What advice would you offer the next round of finalists?
You hear it all the time, but be yourself. It's who you know how best to be.
When you look back, what would you have done differently?
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I would not have changed a thing. It was perfect.
Do people recognize you from being on the show?
Still to this day people come right up to me and say, "Aren't you Salmon, like the fish?"
Crazy what people remember.
What was the greatest lesson you learned from your time on FNS?
Never hesitate in life. If you know that there is something out there for you, go for it. You will never be sorry for trying — win or lose, you win.
What's your current favorite recipe or signature dish?
With BBQ season upon us, my little "Grill Trick" of tossing the dried herbs into the fire while you are cooking your proteins adds a memorable infusion of flavors.
How about a show, guys? I am the man for the new season.